June 06, 2011

Indian casino in The Killing

The Killing (U.S. TV series)The Killing is an American crime drama television series based on the Danish television series with the same English title, but known as Forbrydelsen (The Crime) in Danish. The American version was developed by Veena Sud and produced by Fox Television Studios and Fuse Entertainment. The series' first season, consisting of 13, hour-long episodes, premiered on the cable channel AMC on April 3, 2011, with a two-hour premiere.

Set in Seattle, Washington, the series follows the police investigation, the grieving family and the suspects, after the homicide of a young girl, Rosie Larsen (Katie Findlay). Each of the 13 episodes chronicles one day of the investigation.
Here's a recap of episode 11, Missing (airdate: 6/5/11):

The Killing Recap:  Cigarette BreakAt the open, Linden strolls through a casino floor populated exclusively by Mrs. Belkos. It seems the joint is run by two wildly unfriendly Native American ladies who seem to be hiding something and also seem to have received character notes from the director consisting of one word: “asshole.” Anyway, it’s an Indian casino so no jurisdiction, yada yada. The ladies toss Linden out, partly for her nosiness and partly for the crime of wearing jeggings (fine, running pants) near a baccarat table. But our heroine is nothing if not a cop: Once outside, she smartly notices the one other thing that is also outside: an ATM. Not only that: an ATM with a full-color security camera inside! She arranges a warrant to gain access to all the casino’s ATMs. Very good! Still, the whole thing seems a bit flimsy: Rosie is now connected to this heretofore unheard of casino solely because she had a keychain with a bird on it? Maybe she just spent a lot of time in Portland?Comment:  I haven't seen The Killing, but this episode sounds stereotypical. Indian casinos are run by tribes, not individuals. Professional managers with MBAs and business experience are in charge, not surly ladies. The customer service is the same as you'd find any non-Indian hotel, resort, or casino.

This portrayal sounds like a mild version of past portrayals of savage and uncivilized Indians. It sounds like it has racist undertones. The suddenness of the casino's appearance suggests that someone has an axe to grind.

Yes, most Indian casinos are on sovereign land where tribal law applies. That includes the ATMs outside the casinos. Because of overlapping jurisdictions, it's possible that nontribal police could get a warrant for a tribal ATM. But I don't think it's very likely.

For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.

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